by Alan Robles
Many Filipinos on Facebook don't bother to read the posts they comment on.
This was the finding of a study done by the prestigious Asian Research Institutes for Understanding Humor and Silly Walks (ARIUHSW).
"They just read the title, and maybe the first sentence of the post, and then off they go writing their comments," said Dr. Soon Tu Ve Hung, the institute's chief spokesman, senior researcher, messenger and caterer.
"This explains why most FB comments sound inane, uninformed and - how shall I put it scientifically? - really moronic."
He added: "In fact some commenters write like gerbils on cheap drugs"
Dr. Tu Ve Hung said he was inspired to do the study after his own personal experience.
"Last year, when I logged on to FB and posted the institute's groundbreaking finding that Filipinos have no satire gene, this is one of the comments I got:
" 'Ang laki ng ilong mo.'
"Another commenter wrote: 'You look like a sex maniac.' "
The ARIUHSW spokesperson recalled that "the people who wrote those remarks didn't look crazy, aside from the fact that their profile pics clearly showed none of them would win any beauty contests, at least in the human race.
"So I asked myself, 'did they even bother to read the post?'
"Going by our study's findings, chances are they didn't."
As to why Filipinos don't bother reading posts, Dr. Tu Ve Hung said there were several possible explanations.
"We surveyed some FB commenters, who talked in exchange for jeepney fare and ham sandwiches."
He said, "a certain Adjiel Burlez, who identifies himself as a part-time figure skater and full-time gorilla impersonator, said he only reads titles and first sentences because he doesn't like paying the additional data charge to read the whole post on his phone.
"So that's one reason: commenters are cheap, or they don't have enough money."
The ARIUHSW official noted another case: "Jacques Phillippe, who says he is a professional human impersonator, says he doesn't read FB posts because it's too tiring and he has difficulty following all the squiggly letters and big words.
"So that's a second reason - commenters can't read, and maybe they're illiterate. This theory is reinforced when we read their actual comments. They look like they can't spell and don't understand simple sentence construction. Perhaps that's why many of them just post memes instead."
Dr. Tu Ve Hung said that "then there's Rose Tilapia, who describes herself as Bacterial Beauty Queen, 1966. She says she doesn't need to read any post, because she's perfect and expert in every way so all her comments are correct; she says this also allows her to vent her frustrations especially when she's had a bad day at the job because she was bawled out for being unable to sort plastic paper clips according to color."
Although Filipinos not reading posts they react to is a problem, the researcher said that "we mustn't forget the opposite problem - the commenter who reads the entire post but completely misunderstands it."
"I have no doubt, for instance, that people who read this story will take it seriously and ask the government to investigate the ARIUHSW."
The researcher said the study, which he described as "groundbreaking" and "well-researched" and will possibly increase his chances of landing a coveted position at the toasted siopao shop down the street. He said he was also confident additional funding for research would come through soon, "as soon as the institute has settled its financial obligations with the carinderia in the corner."